In Push for Rural Broadband, Vermont Groups Partner to Buy 2,000 Miles of Fiber-Optic Cable
More than 2,000 miles of fiber-optic cable is ready to be installed across Vermont over the next two years as state leaders continue their push to bring high-speed internet to all corners of the state.
Through a public-private partnership, the Vermont Community Broadband Board, Vermont State Employees Credit Union, Vermont Community Foundation and Vermont’s Communication Union Districts Association spent nearly $7 million to purchase the material.
Vermont Community Broadband Board Deputy Director Robert Fish said at a news conference that the 2,000 miles of cable will supply construction through 2022 and part of 2023.
The state received $100 million from Congress’s recent $1 trillion infrastructure package to expand and improve broadband access.
The purchase comes at a vital point in time, Fish said. With the federal government injecting billions of dollars into expanding broadband across the country and supply chain crunches being felt nationwide, the demand for and cost of fiber-optic cable has shot through the roof.
The purchase announced Monday saved Vermont nearly $2 million, according to Fish. With the raw materials on hand, now the greatest hurdle facing the state is recruiting a large enough workforce to build out the infrastructure.
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